Review: Bombay Bicycle Club at Portsmouth Guildhall

Bombay Bicycle Club
Bombay Bicycle Club
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Bombay Bicycle Club aren’t content with a wave and a cheerio as they exit the stage after their 18-song set.

The band come to the front, join hands and bow low in a finish more befitting Phantom and Cats than a Guildhall gig.

But then the North London four-piece have never been ones to toe the line.

Transcending their indie pop beginnings, they have shifted gears and pedalled in surprising directions at every turn in the road.

From the acoustic folk of second album Flaws to the experimental tracks of latest offering So Long, See You Tomorrow, their releases have defied expectation and they have eluded explanation.

So how does this translate into the live arena? Well it’s a gig of variety to say the least – boppy indie pop, good old-fashioned head-banging rock, soaring vocals and the eastern influences on the latest tracks are all in the mix.

There’s even a horn section which catapults the mood to new levels and lends everything a carnival feel.

The set includes some of SLSYT’s highlights, including Luna and Carry Me, and favourites from the first and third albums.

Backing vocals come from the superb Liz Lawrence and Rae Morris. Rae is also one of the support acts and definitely one to watch.

Occasionally you long for just a little more simplicity but on the plus side, you’re never bored.

Take that bow Bombay Bicycle Club, it’s well deserved.